Shelby GT350 Lives On for 2018, but Where Are the Updates?
Good news, bad news...by Ciprian Florea, on
High-performance Mustangs like the GT350 and GT500 (just to name a few) have always been short lived, but that’s part of their charm and one of the main reasons why they become so valuable. The latest GT350 and GT350R are also scheduled to be made in limited numbers, but the good news is that the nameplate will live on for the 2018 model year.
Unfortunately, there’s some bad news too. If you’re a fan of the latest facelift for the sixth-generation Mustang, you probably won’t be thrilled to find out that the GT350 will carry over without the updates that Ford made to the standard Mustang for the 2018 model year. That means no new headlamps or revised bumpers and no 12-inch digital instrument cluster. Just three extra colors, two of which are shared with the standard Mustang anyway.
The underpinnings remain unchanged too, as well as the 526-horsepower and 429-pound-feet output of the 5.2-liter V-8 engine. However, that’s nothing to sneeze and the GT350 is already a great performer at the race track.
Still, I can’t help but notice that Ford is keeping the current GT350 around for two model years, after which the fate of the nameplate is rather uncertain. Will Ford update it to the new Mustang design toward the end of the sixth-generation or will the GT350 be replaced by a GT500 model based on the facelift? And, if the GT350 is going away for good, shouldn’t enthusiasts get a revised model for the last year on the market?
An upgrade may seem like the logical step in the current market, but things are a bit complicated here. While adding the new headlamps and bumpers to the GT350 might seem pretty easy, it all becomes rather complicated when it comes to aerodynamics. Changing the bumpers of the GT350 would have forced Ford to rethink and reshape the aero kit too, a process that requires research and development, which translates into time and money. More R&D could have resulted in a more expensive vehicle, which isn’t exactly feasible for a nameplate that will be around for only 12 months.
To be honest, I like the GT350 as is, but I bet some of you would rather have a more special iteration for its final year on the market. So, the big question is: are you happy that Ford extended the GT350 life-cycle by one more year or would you rather have a facelifted model a mildly upgraded drivetrain, but at a higher price? Let me know in the comments.